It is difficult in the winter to resist the allure of mountains, and the white, powdery good stuff. Skier and snowboarders alike are always in need of a thrill and these mountain resorts can provide just that. If you’re looking for a truly magical ski vacation, you must try at least one of the following resorts.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole is a magnificent facility in every respect. Take its Aerial Tram, this lift cost $30 million to build and travels 4,139 feet up Rendezvous Mountain. The trip is smooth; music plays the whole way, and the views are so spectacular that you might not want to get off. Then there’s the ski run called Corbet’s Couloir, it’s exhilarating and terrifying, even for expert skiers. The restaurants here are superb as well. The Kitchen serves sophisticated contemporary fare, and boasts an extensive wine list. Plus, you can’t beat the half-pound, lean-beef creations at Billy’s Burgers.
Telluride may have earned fame in recent years for its film festival, but its slopes still reign supreme in many skiers’ hearts. This town is nestled within a canyon, and is surrounded by glorious Rocky Mountain peaks. Even more exciting, the ski terrain includes a heart-stopping, 4,000-foot drop. The resort also boasts a multitude of chutes and exceptionally clean restrooms. You can’t discuss Telluride without mentioning its gondola, which opened in November 1996. It’s unusual for a gondola to serve as a regular mode of transportation for townspeople, but Telluride’s residents use theirs to reach restaurants, bars, and the sky-high community of Mountain Village. Located close to the gondola’s base is La Marmotte, a restaurant housed inside a 125-year-old structure called the Ice House. Its outstanding French cuisine changes nightly, and seasonally.
You’ll find Squaw Valley among the Sierras, and beside Lake Tahoe in Olympic Valley, California. In 2012, this facility teamed up with the nearby ski resort Alpine Meadows. This newly-formed resort spreads across 6,000 acres. Most famous for hosting the Winter Olympics in 1960, Squaw Valley attracts serious and accomplished skiers. The Squaw Valley experience begins with a tram ride up to High Camp, a complex offering a variety of amenities: eateries, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a hot tub. Even more amazing, there’s a Starbucks coffeehouse at Squaw Valley that’s situated at an elevation of 8,000 feet. It opened in February 2012, and it’s the only Starbucks in the world where customers ski in and ski out.
Camelback Mountain Resort
Finally, it’s important to give snow tubing its due. Unlike skiing and snowboarding, which require great precision and skill, anyone can enjoy this wintertime activity. All you need to do is sit inside an inflated tube, and enjoy the rush of speeding downward. Camelback Mountain Resort in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, is an ideal place for tubing. Camelback Mountain, part of the Poconos, reaches a height of 2,133 feet. It’s not a towering peak, but it’s just the right size for family fun. There are 34 slopes here for skiing and snowboarding; the Nile Mile is the longest, and includes a hair-raising 800-foot drop.
After reading these descriptions, you might be having intense visions of snowflakes and hot cocoa. But before loading up that car to drive to one of these resorts, you should heed some advice. The roads leading to these and other ski resorts are often slippery, muddy, and treacherous during the winter. Therefore, it’s important to fully winterize your vehicle and to purchase mud terrain tires to ensure a safe and smooth trip. Having said that, may you have a joyous and thrill-filled skiing season.